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Shaw Nature Reserve

Updated on November 22, 2014
Wildflowers in Autumn
Wildflowers in Autumn | Source

Nature Trails and Native Missouri Plants

The Shaw Nature Reserve is a wonderful area to visit and enjoy the great outdoors. It has restored prairies, wetland, glades and woodlands, along with a beautiful wildflower garden. There are many trails for hiking and enjoying the native plants and it is a fantastic place to photograph nature.

The Reserve is a part of the Missouri Botanical Garden system and has some great educational programs. I recently attended a two day workshop on Prairie Photograhy there and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was my first experience at Shaw Nature reserve and I am looking forward to returning to this beautiful site often.

photographs by Mary Beth Granger

Gazebo and Water Feature

There are small gazebo type structures, small ponds and benches to rest on throughout the reserve. In addition to making a beautiful place to rest they create some great photo opportunities. I like the way this gazebo is reflected on the water.

I walked around this gazebo several times trying to find just the right angle to capture the scene.

Bascom House - historic

In addition to all of the natural beauty in the reserve there are also a few historic houses. I think they add to the beauty of the surroundings.

This house was built in 1879 by a retired Confederate Colonel, Thomas Crews. It now houses an exhibit about people in the middle Meramec River Valley over the last 12,000 years. It is located a short distance from the Whitmire Wildflower Garden.

Wildflowers at Shaw Nature Reserve

The Whitmire wildflower garden offers visitors the chance to walk the trails and view over 5 acres of Missouri's native plants. As you wander through the trails of the gardens you will find wildflowers found throughout Missouri.

Images of Autumn

photographs at Shaw Nature Reserve

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I love the colors of fall and the cool crisp days. Shaw Nature Reserve is a perfect place for a photographer in autumn. There are so many beautiful scenes to capture. I like to go their in the early morning, before sunrise, and capture the beauty that unfolds as the day begins.

Autumn Colors

Shaw Nature Reserve has a never ending variety of scenes that change with each season. This photo was taken in early October at the beginning of the fall season. I love the way the early morning sun peeps through the leaves and light peeks between the edges.

Exploring on the Trails

Shaw Nature Reserve has a 14 mile trail system. This photograph was taken early one morning along the Wetland Trail where there was fog in the low lying areas. We wandered along this trails looking for interesting subjects for our photographs. We found lots of beautiful flowers and insects as we slowly made our way through the trails. The fog was a nice bonus and added another aspect to our photos.

Grasshopper in the Prairie - Insect Photography

Shaw Nature Reserve is also a great place to photograph insects. My friend and neighbor Teresa took these photos of the grasshopper and spider at our photography class.

Spider in the Prairie by Teresa

Spider in the Prairie by Teresa
Spider in the Prairie by Teresa

Where is Shaw Nature Reserve?

This beautiful nature reserve is easily accessible at the Gray Summit exit from Hwy 44 just west of St. Louis.

Do you have a favorite place to view wildflowers? - stop by a leave me a message

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    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      4 years ago from Canada

      Your photos always capture the most precious elements of nature. Beautiful as is always your style. You sure made me feel so much better this morning.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Love your photos. You do take awesome photographs. I plan on getting some nature photos on my next trip to Key West.

    • writerkath profile image


      4 years ago

      I love the wildflowers in my own yard - but I have to say that the photo of the Wetland Trail that you included is lovely!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      Not any more. There were plenty of places along the Jersey shores, but I haven't been back to that part in some time.

    • mel-kav profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautiful photos of a beautiful place. I used to love taking photos in both the front and backyard of my old house and the common ground out past our property line. It was so pretty. I have since moved - and I need to find a new place for taking my photos.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love the wildflowers that change by the season on the edge of the wooded areas of our backyard and beyond - and, of course, I love your wildflower photos!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      The Shaw Nature Reserve looks like a splendid place to visit. I so enjoy your photographs! (Envious too!)

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have an online friend that lives close to St. Lois that I hope to visit one day. I'd love to visit Shaw Nature Reserve when I do make it to Missouri. Gorgeous Photos!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Your photos always just radiate beauty! I'd love to visit this place and tool through the paths with my scooter just to see all these lovely vistas. You are so talented with that camera, it just beckons people to go wherever you've photographed.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      5 years ago

      I love Botanic gardens, and your pictures are excellent. Thanks for a beautiful lens

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      I am so envious of your gorgeous photographs. The Shaw nature reserve looks gorgeous.

    • SellClean profile image


      6 years ago

      I grew up going to Shaw's Arboretum as it used to be known. Many fond memories. Thanks for sharing this lens!

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 

      7 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      Gorgeous photos. I love walking in The Blue Mountains. You must come sometime!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Blessed! Please add this to my Halloween Zazzle and Blessings 2011 lens.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Beautiful! Blessed! Please add this to my Halloween Zazzle and Blessings 2011 lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      not a favorite place, seems like I see them more on photos then in the wild. always enjoy the outdoors. really liked your new lens, gave you a 'thumbs up'.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      7 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Very pretty. Nice photographs.

    • seashell2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nice, congrats on taking your photography class, I'm sure you learned a lot! :-)

    • annieangel1 profile image


      7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      great lens and lovely photos

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I enjoy going to our nj botanical gardens, but also like seeing what comes up along the road, it's amazing what beauty can be found along rural roads.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love these pictures. I like to go out into forests.


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